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What are the five types of construction buildings?

August 1, 2023

Every construction project has specific fire codes that dictates what materials and standards of materials are acceptable for each building structure. These building types could require specific materials like wood, steel or concrete beams.

The five different types of building construction:

  • Wood-framed 
  • Heavy Timber
  • Ordinary 
  • Non-combustible 
  • Fire resistive 

Every good contractor should be up to date on fire safety codes. They should be aware of what materials are acceptable for each building type.

Wood-framed buildings 

Wood framed buildings are a place most of us call home. It is the material that most modern houses are made of. The structure frames, walls, floors and roofs are composed of wood. Making this structure a highly flammable environment. Most houses that ignite aren’t likely to collapse however lightweight concrete home’s collapse in minutes.

Heavy Timber 

Heavy Timber buildings are places we visit everyday, such as churches, and grocery stores. These buildings are made with noncombustible exterior and interior portions. 

The flooring is often laminated or solid wood. The wooden planks for the flooring must be a minimum of six inches thick. The columns and beams must be eight inches thick. With these requirements these types of buildings hold up against fire and the building is less likely to collapse. 


There are many types of ordinary building structures such as older schools, businesses and residential structures. These types of buildings are also known as brick to joist structures. The outside is typically made out of bricks with a wooden roof. The interior frames, floors and ceiling are made out of combustible wood. 


Non-combustible buildings are often big box stores, shopping malls and newer schools. The structure materials are made of metal and concrete. These non-combustible materials are used in walls, floors, roofing and exterior. The exterior, structural frames, ceiling and roof must be able to have one hour of protection against fire damage. The codes for non-combustible construction are more rigid than ordinary construction.


Fire-resistive buildings have the strictest fire safety codes. Fire-resistive buildings are often skyscrapers, multi-story or high rise buildings. They are made out of fire resistant materials such as concrete and steel. Due to them being made of High fire resistant materials they are the most expensive building types. These materials must be able to resist fire for at least two hours. There are four other fire safety components commonly found in these buildings.

  1. Pressurized stairwell 
  2. Smoke seals
  3. Self closing fire doors
  4. Smoke doors on elevators

These fire resistant components make it easier for firefighters to put out fire and prevent spreading. This is the highest fire resistance level of protection. 

How can Followup CRM help?

Followup CRM can be a construction company's best friend. They help with having a calendar that not only helps you track bids but keep a calendar. They also keep everyone on the same page. An email about different building types and their codes can go out and the contractor can find it in a jiffy with their email tracker. They also integrate with other software used in the construction world. 

Being aware of your building type, the materials needed and our CRM will help your project become a breeze. Schedule a demo today! 

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